Last year, Myke Cole released his debut novel, Shadow Ops: Control Point.
Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier picks up, where Control Point left off. But not with Oscar Britton, the protagonist from Control Point.
In Fortress Frontier, we’re introduced to Colonel Alan Bookbinder, a Pentagon paper-pusher, who suddenly finds himself manifesting. When you manifest, you either run or join the military. Fortunately, Alan bookbinder is military to the bone and turns himself in.
Even though he’s a Colonel, Bookbinder is seen only as a logistics officer due to his lack of combat experience. Until Oscar Britton goes AWOL. Forward Operations Base Frontier is cut off from the home plane and under heavy attack. Supplies are dwindling, the situation is dire, and Alan Bookbinder is the only man who can save the day.
Myke Cole continues to build upon the magic world called the Source, expanding the geography, indigenous population and the magic. He hints at bigger events unfolding in the Source, and without going into too much detail, we’re left with the feeling that the human race may be out of its depth magic-wise.
We follow Bookbinder for most of the book, and that is also my main beef with this novel. I found him to be rather dull and uncharacteristic for an army colonel. What would you do, if one of your favorite book series decided to follow a side character for a whole book?
Colonel Alan Bookbinder simply does not have it in him to carry the book. We left Control Point with a good story in the making with unanswered questions. Just the way you like it. Sadly, Fortress Frontier does not pick up where we left off.
Although this book moves the story further along and gives some answers, most of the book is just not that exciting. I kept waiting for Oscar Britton to pop up and carry the day. Which to be fair, he does at times but nearly enough for my liking.
Fortress Frontier is a decent read, but we’re left re-living the slow parts of Control Point. Once we get to the point where Control Point left off, the story picks up.
It isn’t all bad, and there are moments in which the story just flows. Myke Cole is a good writer; the story is just interrupted with unneeded clutter much of the way towards the end.
I attribute this to the fact, that too much of the book is describing events from Control Point, in Alan Bookbinders perspective, as well as focusing on Alan Bookbinder as the protagonist.
Let me say this though; there has only been two books released so far, but the strongest selling point of this series, is the protagonist, Oscar Britton. Control Point is part The Fugitive with Harrison Ford, part Dresden Files magic-slinging action.
Let me reiterate: Do I think the books are good? Yes. Are they great? No. Does this series have potential? Emphatic yes!